Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Jack P Shepherd interview: David and new girl Emma

Is David angry at Shona?
No he has pushed her away he still loves her but he can’t be with her at the same time as trying to deal with what happened to him. He can’t be near her, he doesn’t want to be with her sexually, but it’s because he loves her, it is a twisted mentality.

He showed his feelings in a very violent way at the boxing match and now he is paying the price. What made him react in that way?
It was the culmination of all his anger and anxiety over the rape. He was in the boxing ring and wasn’t putting up much of a defence when Josh whispered in his ear ‘I bet you’d rather go round two with me’, there is a just a red mist moment where he hits Gary and can’t stop.

Do you think that could have been the point where David explained what was behind his actions in the boxing ring?
You would think that would have been the moment where he breaks down and tells someone but he didn’t It is too deep rooted, he can’t tell anyone, He blames himself because he feels as though he should have been able to stop Josh. That is because of the mind games that Josh has been playing with him making him believe that he willingly participated and didn’t try to stop him. David can’t remember what happened so Josh is playing on that.

People are starting to worry about his behaviour following that, what do they think is wrong with him?
Gary comes to see him and tells him he thinks he is having a breakdown, Gary suffered from PTSD so he recognises some of that behaviour in David. But everyone thinks it is to do with Kylie’s death. He never really dealt with that grief, he went for a couple of counselling sessions but didn’t  carry on, he has grieved but only on his own, he has never been seen to be grieving by his family, he is dealing with the rape in the same way, he broke down in the salon but no one has seen him. So his behaviour towards Shona, his outburst in the boxing everyone assumes is to do with Kylie’s death. 

What happens with Maria?
She is the one person who is getting very close to knowing that there is something else wrong with him so he knows he needs to shut her up and he decides to do it in a way which really shocks her and actually has the opposite effect and makes her even more concerned about what is going on with him. 

Why does he make a play for Emma?
Well she has irritated him since she started at the salon, he doesn’t want her there, she never shuts up, she is young, she talks all the time. He isn’t interested in working and one day he just looks at her and decides to make a play for her and he takes her home and takes her to bed! 

Is he trying to prove something to himself?
Yes absolutely and to Josh, he is trying to prove that he is a real man, that he can pull this young girl and that means that Josh is wrong about him. 

Why does he go even further and ask her to move in?
Because she is a distraction, she talks all the time and she is like a little toy that distracts him from facing his demons. Whilst she is there rabbiting on he can’t get a word in edgeways so he doesn’t have to have conversations. She is a nice distraction for him.

Do you think he is also doing it to push Shona away a bit more?
Yes definitely, it sends that signal to Shona, the kids miss Shona and are trying to see her but he is just able to say he has a new girlfriend and he has moved on.

Do you think this is one of the oddest things David has done?
Well it is certainly rash but it is a direct reaction to what has happened to him. He is a person of extremes. If he had told someone he wouldn’t have reacted like this in a self destructive way, but that is the point  he hasn’t spoken to anyone and he should have done.

How have you found playing out this storyline?
It has been a different challenge for me and I have enjoyed that aspect of it, David seems powerless and he never really is, he has always got something up his sleeve and in this instance he hasn’t, it is though he has just given up and is making rash decision and hurting people that he loves along the way.

Can he recover from this?
He can, but only if he talks to someone, he can’t move on until he opens up and talks but at the moment he can’t so it will be interesting to see how it develops and what, if anything, will make him talk to someone. And for Josh to get punished he has to say it out loud. That is why they have shown the extremes of David’s behaviour to show how internalising it all is affecting not only him but everyone around him.

What sort of response have you had?
It’s been great, the storyline has been very well received and has got people taking which is exactly what we set out to do. As an actor you get on with telling the story but to see the effect it has had is very rewarding.

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